Days 14 to 21 – Happy Hatha Yoga
It’s the end of week 2 and we’re going to do a gentler practice today with some pranayama (breathing) practice. Our happiness suggestion today is to help clean out a friend’s closet and hang out with women!
I’ll admit, the happiness prompt for day 14, seems a tad odd – clean out someone elses closest? Although I guess if they’re the same size as you and you can get a tonne of free clothes, that could make a person happy … but still …
However what I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed this practice, it was just what I needed for a lazy Sunday morning.
Day 15 Hatha Yoga Happiness: more gratitude! “Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.” -Rumi Today’s practice will open your heart and quiet your mind. Your “homework” is to write 10 things you’re grateful for today! Put the list up where you can see it (bathroom mirror, fridge, car) so you can be reminded often.
Gratitude – now that is something that can have a significant impact on happiness – I like it!
I also really enjoyed this practice although at 5.30 am in the morning my shoulders sure did get jolted awake. 😉
Day 16 of Hatha Yoga Happiness is about taking a break from Social Media. It’s kind of a strange request because you’re connecting to this practice through social media right now, but studies show that people who are on social media less are happier. This way, we won’t “compare and despair.” If you can’t take today off from social media, plan a day soon!
For the record, I stay away from social media on a Sunday and it’s bliss!
I rolled out of bed just after 5am to do this practice before work, and I nearly fell asleep during the very first part when she suggests you shut your eyes. Perhaps if you decide to do this practice first thing in the morning, you keep your eyes open. 😉
Day 17 of Hatha Yoga Happiness’s suggestion is to get outside! Take a walk or a hike if you can. Take lots of deep breaths, just like you do during your yoga practice. Research suggests that spending more time outdoors makes us happier!
Well I must admit when I head outdoors to exercise there is a lot of deep breathing going on, mostly because I’m gasping for air. 😉
However, back to the matter at hand ..
I really enjoyed this practice, even what I usually describe as the “boring breathing” section. This practice starts off gently and moves on from there, a perfect way to wake up the body first thing in the morning.
Day 18 of Hatha Yoga Happiness suggests to hug more! Physical touch is an important part of human connection. Holding hands, hugging, getting a massage, etc releases oxytocin (sometimes called, “the cuddle hormone”) which calms emotions and can actually reduce the brain’s ability to feel pain! So, hug it out!
I’ll admit I’m a HUGE hugger. Nothing better than a good old bear hug in my opinion!
Starting with a backwards plank was a bit of a shock to the system but it certainly woke me up. This is quite a top heavy practice (eg lots of holding yourself off the ground) which for someone who hasn’t lifted a heavy weight for what seems forever is probably a good thing. 😉
Day 19 Hatha Yoga Happiness reminds us to check some things off of our “to do” list. When we have a bunch of things to do, our minds get cluttered and distracted and that makes it difficult to feel good. Get a couple of things done that you’ve been meaning to do. You’ll feel great!
I’m not a huge list maker in the traditional sense. I mean I do have lists, but they tend to be inside my head so I don’t get the physical thrill of crossing something off a list perse’ but I do understand how it’s hard to feel happy amongst clutter .. come and see how happy you feel sitting amongst the chaos my children often leave in the middle of in our lounge. 😉
Today’s practice includes forearm stands – I’m not a huge fan of forearm stands, I’d rather stand on the palms of my hands day .. (oh and my knees don’t love the amount of low lunges Lesley Fightmaster likes to do in every practice, but perhaps you don’t have dodgy knees, so don’t need to worry about this).
Day 20: Laughter is the best medicine. Today’s class is a little cringy, but try and have an open mind and laugh! We experience the same benefits from laughing if it’s a “real” laugh or if it’s artificial. Give it a try! 🙂 hahahaha!!!!
Who knew that your body can’t tell the difference between a fake laugh and a real laugh!?!?!?!
If you like to fake laugh whilst trying to do your sun salutes then this is the practice for you, if not then I suggest you skip it.
Day 21, Hatha Yoga Happiness. Today is day 21 and we’re at our 3rd week! We get to relax today and take it a little easier. Also, today’s tool for happiness is to DANCE!!! Put on the music and get moving! People who dance for fun report feeling happier because…you guessed it….endorphins (our “feel good” hormones) are released!
On one hand you should relax BUT on the other hand you should dance .. (cue quizzical look).
Anyway who cares .. it’s restorative yoga day! Who doesn’t love a bit of restorative yoga!